It begins... calling all layout experts.

mateo21April 5, 2013

Hello fine forum members... I think it is time to start thinking about my own kitchen. This remodel is most likely still a year or so off, but planning early (by some measures I'm planning early!) is very important for success!

I've read through the Sweeby test -- and unfortunately at the time of my writing this it has a 404 error -- file not found! This would be great if it could be fixed, as that post is an amazing reference!

To begin:

Below you can see two "drawings" (almost to scale) of the whole house (quite modest in comparison with of the beautiful homes here) and of the current kitchen. I'm looking ultimately for a working, functioning kitchen. I cook a lot -- 4-5 nights per week, everything from scratch (from stocks to crust to breaking down "primal" cuts into various cuts, etc.).

My main problems with the kitchen:

1) The stove backs up to the sink -- I like to cook while my DW cleans -- not ideal when there is only 36" between the range and the sink; to boot, the main prep space is directly above the dishwasher.

2) The refrigerator bottleneck! This is both visual and functional, when the fridge door is open you cannot access the end of the kitchen (what is now occupied with the washer and dryer, soon to be leaving), and it makes the kitchen only seem as deep as the small remnant wall and the fridge (follow me?).

3) Very little counter space - although it is more than some, how the space is laid out, the only really useable counter space is above the dishwasher, the corner is too awkward to cut/prep at, and the space to the left of the stove is good for small jobs, (rolling out dough, mis en place, etc.) but when it is full the stove doesn’t have any good landing surface.

4) Disconnected from the rest of the house! I know the way the home is situated it’s not exactly an open floor plan. And I’m Ok with that but when I have dinner guests over (which is frequent, mostly 4-6 people, nothing huge) I feel like I’m in a cave and sectioned off. I think the best way to solve this is removing the wall that separates the spaces.

There should be a rough “proposed” layout below as well… I’m not super thrilled with this plan, as it puts the dishwasher 20ft from the main mess making areas the stove, the dining room, and the prep areas.

I have thought through a few options in the close-up plans, the dashed lines are doors the “inset” lines are windows… the kitchen would feel a lot better with the door moved, but that’ll be a decent amount more work than I was really hoping to do. Additionally, the doorway the leads to the new laundry room is a pocket door, so 62” from the south wall of the house is door+pocket = no plumbing, electrical, etc. I would also love to keep all plumbing where it is to reduce cost and time, and it’s all right there!!

Ok! Enough wall of text I hope I’ve provided enough info for everyone here. I can take photos, etc. if that will help hopefully my images are showing up!

This post was edited by mateo21 on Fri, Apr 5, 13 at 12:53

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Proposed... but problematic:

This post was edited by mateo21 on Fri, Apr 5, 13 at 12:56

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 12:39PM
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Shameless bump... I'm pretty sure I've got some good info here maybe not enough? I'll re-read the info and update it if need be.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Mateo, assuming the kitchen were left there, I would not be interested in extending it into a very long space down the back wall of the house.

One thing I would strongly consider would be setting the refrigerator, partly or entirely, into the wall at what is currently drawn in as the laundry room.

The shallow counter shown there in the new design would be worthless to me because I'd never work there, so I'd never put it in, but I very much like the idea of a wall of floor-to-ceiling shallow storage, anywhere from 8-13" deep. I have that kind of storage now, which I copied from a previous home because I loved it. It holds an amazing amount of stuff in a very accessible way, and almost nothing in a kitchen is too big for a 13" shelf, or 12". BTW, you can also borrow 3" or so of depth between studs for storage. The refrigerator could be set into this, using the rest of the needed space, again, from the laundry area.

Is that little knee wall at the bottom end of the current kitchen counter supporting anything? I see the door outside on the other side of it, but if the kitchen stayed there, the only extension I would be interested in in that direction would be into the door areas, which would be shoved down 2 to 3 feet..

OR. :) More ambitiously, but maybe well worth the investment would be addressing a larger area in the remodel. One thing that strikes me is that the space labeled "dining" seems way too small hold a table and chairs and be a corridor into the kitchen. If it's not somehow great for you, I'd consider extending the kitchen into that space as far as the bedroom hallway and putting a dining/socializing banquette in the back corner where you're contemplating a clean-up center. This plan would leave the back door right where it is--no extending the counter that direction.

I might choose in this case to extend the bedroom hall wall the depth of the kitchen counter on the other, living room end, to hide mess on it from the living room, and then widen the doorway to span the rest of the space between that main work counter and garage/laundry wall.

Traffic could then come around that corner, cross in front of the refrigerator (which might still be set into the back end of the laundry room), and end up at the banquette.

Of course, this version would require moving doors to laundry and garage, and there might be too much involved in that (like where's the plumbing?), but why not have the garage door enter much more directly at the area currently labeled dining, or through a different part of the laundry room, instead of requiring people to go the long way around and demanding the layout and fucntions of all those spaces give way to the needs of traffic? Moving those doors would be a big problem solver, improving your entire home; and if means allow, doing anything else would probably be a mistake.

That done (without that door from the garage in that back corner), a really nice, spacious banquette could be set in there, with seating for several enjoying the window and door to the outside and with a nice cozy relationship with the cook at work.

Of course, the things I don't know mean some of this may be ruled out immediately, but hopefully something will jog an idea that will work for you.

Unless you have a critical need for a counter to cool several sheets of cookies at once, though, I'd strongly suggest at least ditching the shallow counter in favor of even shallower wall storage plus the refrigerator set in. Note that any counter area would be right where your very best shelves could be, right in front of you without reaching up or down.

Have fun.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 7:08PM
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